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Passing a CLEP exam will get you college credit and a head start on earning your degree.

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How Does it Work?

CLEP exams help you receive college credit for what you already know, for a fraction of the cost of a college course. You can prepare for and take the exams on your own time, whether you’re getting a head start on college or working to finish your degree.

  • Save money. A CLEP exam costs $85—a fraction of the average college cost.
  • Earn college credit. A passing score on a CLEP exam can earn you three or more college credits.
  • Save time. With CLEP exams you can place out of introductory courses and move more quickly towards your major or other areas of study.

CLEP is for Everyone

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Over 2,900 colleges and universities grant credit for CLEP. Each institution sets its own CLEP policy by:

  • Determining the exams it accepts. At some colleges you could earn the same credit you would get by passing a college course covering the same material.
  • Setting the credit-granting score. You may earn three or more credits, although the credits awarded may vary with each institution.
  • Establishing the amount of credits that will be granted per exam. Some colleges place a limit on the credits you can earn through CLEP, while other institutions may grant you exemption but no credit toward your degree. Check your school's policy.

Before you take a CLEP exam, review the CLEP policy for your college or university.

QuizUp Trivia Game

Take the CLEP challenge and discover questions inspired by CLEP exams.

Credit-Granting Score

Most colleges publish the required scores for earning CLEP credit in their general catalog or in a brochure. The required score for earning CLEP credit may vary from exam to exam. Contact your institution to find out the minimum qualifying score for each exam.

Getting Credit for General Requirements

At some colleges, you may be able to apply your CLEP credit to the college's core curriculum requirements. For example, CLEP credit may be given as “6 hours—English Credit” or “3 hours—Math Credit,” and can be used for any English or mathematics course. Find out before you take a CLEP exam what type of credit you can receive from your institution, or whether you will be exempted from a required course but receive no credit.

Prior Course Work

Some colleges won't grant credit for a CLEP exam if you've already attempted a college-level course closely aligned with that exam. For example, if you successfully completed English 101 or a comparable course on another campus, you wouldn't receive CLEP credit in that same subject. Also, some colleges won't allow you to earn CLEP credit for a course that you failed.

Other Considerations

Wait at least three months before repeating the same CLEP exam. Scores of exams repeated earlier than three months will not be accepted (and test fees will be forfeited).

Colleges usually award CLEP credit only to their enrolled students. Here are some additional questions to consider:

  • Does the college require you to “validate” your CLEP score by successfully completing a more advanced course in the subject?
  • Does the college require the optional free-response (essay) section for the examinations in Composition and Literature as well as the multiple-choice portion of the CLEP exam you're considering?
  • Will you be required to pass a departmental test such as an essay, laboratory, or oral exam in addition to the CLEP multiple-choice exam?

Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time will allow you to schedule the optional free-response or departmental exam when you register to take your CLEP exam.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

If you have a disability, such as a learning or physical disability, that would prevent you from taking a CLEP exam under standard conditions, you may request accommodations at your preferred test center. Contact your preferred test center well in advance of the test date to make the necessary arrangements and to find out the deadline to submit documentation and approval of accommodations. Accommodations that can be arranged directly with test centers include:

  • ZoomText (screen magnification)
  • Modifiable screen colors
  • Use of a human reader, a scribe/writer, or a sign language interpreter
  • Extended time
  • Rest breaks (as needed)

If the above accommodations do not meet your needs, do not register online for your exam. Contact CLEP Services at clep@info.collegeboard.org for information about other accommodations.